Psalms 22

Listen to Psalms 22
1 1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so 2far from saving me, from the words of my 3groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by 4day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are 5holy, 6enthroned on 7the praises[a] of Israel.
4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
5 To you they 8cried and were rescued; in you they 9trusted and were not put to shame.
6 But I am 10a worm and not a man, 11scorned by mankind and 12despised by the people.
7 All who see me 13mock me; they make mouths at me; they 14wag their heads;
8 15"He trusts in the LORD; let him 16deliver him; let him rescue him, for he 17delights in him!"
9 Yet you are he who 18took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from 19my mother's womb you have been my God.
11 Be not 20far from me, for trouble is near, and there is 21none to help.
12 Many bulls encompass me; 22strong bulls of 23Bashan surround me;
13 they 24open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
14 I am 25poured out like water, and all my bones are 26out of joint; my 27heart is like 28wax; it is melted within my breast;
15 my strength is 29dried up like a potsherd, and my 30tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
16 For 31dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers 32encircles me; they have 33pierced my hands and feet[b]--
17 I can count all my bones-- they 34stare and gloat over me;
18 35they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
19 But you, O LORD, 36do not be far off! O you my help, 37come quickly to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of 38the dog!
21 Save me from 39the mouth of the lion! You have rescued[c] me from the horns of 40the wild oxen!
22 41I will tell of your name to my 42brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23 You who 43fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, 44glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of 45the afflicted, and he has not 46hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he 47cried to him.
25 From you comes my praise in the great 48congregation; my 49vows I will 50perform before those who fear him.
26 51The afflicted[d] shall 52eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts 53live forever!
27 All 54the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all 55the families of the nations shall worship before you.
28 For 56kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.
29 All 57the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall 58bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not 59keep himself alive.
30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming 60generation;
31 they shall 61come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet 62unborn, that he has done it.

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Psalms 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Complaints of discouragement. (1-10) With prayer for deliverance. (11-21) Praises for mercies and redemption. (22-31)

Verses 1-10 The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint of God's withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God, pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritual desertions are the saints' sorest afflictions; but even their complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and spiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick? why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness. But, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" is the language of a heart binding up its happiness in God's favour. This must be applied to Christ. In the first words of this complaint, he poured out his soul before God when he was upon the cross, ( Matthew 27:46 ) . Being truly man, Christ felt a natural unwillingness to pass through such great sorrows, yet his zeal and love prevailed. Christ declared the holiness of God, his heavenly Father, in his sharpest sufferings; nay, declared them to be a proof of it, for which he would be continually praised by his Israel, more than for all other deliverances they received. Never any that hoped in thee, were made ashamed of their hope; never any that sought thee, sought thee in vain. Here is a complaint of the contempt and reproach of men. The Saviour here spoke of the abject state to which he was reduced. The history of Christ's sufferings, and of his birth, explains this prophecy.

Verses 11-21 In these verses we have Christ suffering, and Christ praying; by which we are directed to look for crosses, and to look up to God under them. The very manner of Christ's death is described, though not in use among the Jews. They pierced his hands and his feet, which were nailed to the accursed tree, and his whole body was left so to hang as to suffer the most severe pain and torture. His natural force failed, being wasted by the fire of Divine wrath preying upon his spirits. Who then can stand before God's anger? or who knows the power of it? The life of the sinner was forfeited, and the life of the Sacrifice must be the ransom for it. Our Lord Jesus was stripped, when he was crucified, that he might clothe us with the robe of his righteousness. Thus it was written, therefore thus it behoved Christ to suffer. Let all this confirm our faith in him as the true Messiah, and excite our love to him as the best of friends, who loved us, and suffered all this for us. Christ in his agony prayed, prayed earnestly, prayed that the cup might pass from him. When we cannot rejoice in God as our song, yet let us stay ourselves upon him as our strength; and take the comfort of spiritual supports, when we cannot have spiritual delights. He prays to be delivered from the Divine wrath. He that has delivered, doth deliver, and will do so. We should think upon the sufferings and resurrection of Christ, till we feel in our souls the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.

Verses 22-31 The Saviour now speaks as risen from the dead. The first words of the complaint were used by Christ himself upon the cross; the first words of the triumph are expressly applied to him, ( Hebrews 2:12 ) . All our praises must refer to the work of redemption. The suffering of the Redeemer was graciously accepted as a full satisfaction for sin. Though it was offered for sinful men, the Father did not despise or abhor it for our sakes. This ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. All humble, gracious souls should have a full satisfaction and happiness in him. Those that hunger and thirst after righteousness in Christ, shall not labour for that which satisfies not. Those that are much in praying, will be much in thanksgiving. Those that turn to God, will make conscience of worshipping before him. Let every tongue confess that he is Lord. High and low, rich and poor, bond and free, meet in Christ. Seeing we cannot keep alive our own souls, it is our wisdom, by obedient faith, to commit our souls to Christ, who is able to save and keep them alive for ever. A seed shall serve him. God will have a church in the world to the end of time. They shall be accounted to him for a generation; he will be the same to them that he was to those who went before them. His righteousness, and not any of their own, they shall declare to be the foundation of all their hopes, and the fountain of all their joys. Redemption by Christ is the Lord's own doing. Here we see the free love and compassion of God the Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, for us wretched sinners, as the source of all grace and consolation; the example we are to follow, the treatment as Christians we are to expect, and the conduct under it we are to adopt. Every lesson may here be learned that can profit the humbled soul. Let those who go about to establish their own righteousness inquire, why the beloved Son of God should thus suffer, if their own doings could atone for sin? Let the ungodly professor consider whether the Saviour thus honoured the Divine law, to purchase him the privilege of despising it. Let the careless take warning to flee from the wrath to come, and the trembling rest their hopes upon this merciful Redeemer. Let the tempted and distressed believer cheerfully expect a happy end of every trial.

Cross References 62

  • 1. Cited Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34
  • 2. ver. 11
  • 3. Psalms 32:3; Psalms 38:8; Job 3:24; Isaiah 59:11; [Hebrews 5:7]
  • 4. Psalms 88:1
  • 5. Leviticus 19:2
  • 6. [Psalms 80:1; Psalms 99:1]
  • 7. [Psalms 9:11, 14; Psalms 65:1; Psalms 102:21; Psalms 147:12]
  • 8. See Judges 3:9
  • 9. Psalms 25:2; Psalms 31:1; Psalms 71:1; Isaiah 49:23; Romans 9:33
  • 10. Job 25:6; Isaiah 41:14
  • 11. Psalms 69:19; Psalms 109:25
  • 12. Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 53:3
  • 13. See Matthew 27:39-43; Mark 15:29-32; Luke 23:35, 36
  • 14. Psalms 109:25; [Psalms 44:14; 2 Kings 19:21; Isaiah 37:22; Lamentations 2:15]
  • 15. [Psalms 37:5; Proverbs 16:3]
  • 16. Psalms 91:14
  • 17. Psalms 18:19; Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22
  • 18. Psalms 71:6
  • 19. Isaiah 46:3; Isaiah 49:1; Galatians 1:15
  • 20. See ver. 1; Psalms 10:1
  • 21. Psalms 107:12; 2 Kings 14:26; Isaiah 63:5
  • 22. [Psalms 68:30(Heb.)]
  • 23. Amos 4:1
  • 24. Psalms 35:21; Job 16:10; Lamentations 2:16; Lamentations 3:46
  • 25. [Lamentations 2:11]
  • 26. [Daniel 5:6]
  • 27. [Job 23:16; Nahum 2:10]; See Joshua 2:11
  • 28. See Psalms 68:2
  • 29. Proverbs 17:22
  • 30. [John 19:28; See Job 29:10]
  • 31. [Philippians 3:2; Revelation 22:15]
  • 32. Psalms 88:17
  • 33. Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:33; Luke 24:40; John 19:23, 37; John 20:25; [Zechariah 12:10]
  • 34. Luke 23:35
  • 35. Cited John 19:24; [Matthew 27:35; Luke 23:34]
  • 36. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 37. Psalms 38:22
  • 38. [Philippians 3:2; Revelation 22:15]
  • 39. 2 Timothy 4:17
  • 40. See Numbers 23:22
  • 41. Cited Hebrews 2:12; [Psalms 102:21; John 17:6]
  • 42. Matthew 28:10; John 20:17; Romans 8:29
  • 43. Psalms 135:20
  • 44. Psalms 50:15, 23
  • 45. [Isaiah 53:4, 7]
  • 46. Psalms 10:1; Psalms 13:1; See Job 13:24
  • 47. Hebrews 5:7
  • 48. Psalms 35:18; Psalms 40:9, 10; Psalms 111:1
  • 49. Leviticus 7:16
  • 50. Psalms 66:13; Jonah 2:9; See Psalms 50:14
  • 51. Psalms 69:32
  • 52. Isaiah 25:6; Isaiah 65:13
  • 53. John 6:51
  • 54. Psalms 2:8; Psalms 67:7
  • 55. Psalms 96:7
  • 56. Obadiah 21; [Psalms 47:8; Zechariah 14:9]
  • 57. [Psalms 45:12]
  • 58. Psalms 72:9; [Philippians 2:10]
  • 59. Ezekiel 18:27
  • 60. Psalms 48:13; Psalms 71:18
  • 61. Psalms 86:9; [Isaiah 60:3]
  • 62. Psalms 78:6; Psalms 102:18

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or dwelling in the praises
  • [b]. Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts like a lion [they are at] my hands and feet
  • [c]. Hebrew answered
  • [d]. Or The meek

Chapter Summary

Psalms 22 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.